On the first anniversary since its establishment — 11th May 2012 — the Justice Development Foundation presented the first set of analyses based on the psychological and sociological research ‘the Reform Experiment: A Glance at the Human In the Judiciary’ which had been conducted in March-April 2012 and joined by nearly 1000 judges and prosecutiors within the research project ‘Judiciary between Laws and Facts’.
The project is not financed and the team has been implementing it pro bono as a contriobution to the judiciary reform in Bulgaria.
The results were presented at a conference ‘Judiciary betyween Laws and Facts’ held in the Conference Hall of the Supreme Court of Cassation in the Palace of Justice in Sofia and was attended by HE Karen van Kesteren, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bulgaria, high representatives of the embassies of Germany and France (respectively Mr. Reinchard Krap and Mdm. Marianne Carre), the President of the Union of Bulgarian Jurists Mr. Vladislav Slavov, representatives of the Delegation of the European Commission, of the Prosecutor General, of the Bulgarian Judges Association, the Association of the Bulgarian Prosecutors, and of the Chamber of the Investigators, Constitutional judges, prosecutors and judges from all courts anf prosecutions based in Sofia, researchers from the Bulgarian Academy of Science and universities, representatives of NGOs.
The participants discussed the enforcement of the constitutional model of the judiciary, the level to which the Bulgarian judicial system had been integrated within the EUI system, the processes of construction and development of group professional identities of judges and prosecutors, carrer growth, management and career development practices of the Supreme Judicial Council, the emergance of dependencies within the system, propositions for structural and functional reform, etc.
The first analitical papers will be published in the periodical Theses, issued by the Association of the Bulgarian Prosecutors, and the second issues of the Judicial Newletter issues by the Bulgarian Judges Association.
The Justice Development Foundation expresses its deep gratitude to the President of the Supreme Court of Cassation for the hoispitality and to the Bulgarian judges and prosecutors, their professional associations and the Prosecutor General for their most active support nad confidence which made the research possible.
The full English version of the research may be downloaded from here:
On the 1st May 2012 a team of JDF experts concluded a legal-sociological and legal-psychological research of attitudes towards judiciary independence shared by Bulgarian judges and prosecutors and the impact of the judiciary reform efforts over their group professional identities. The study ‘The Reform Experiment: A Glance at the Human in Judiciary’ was conducted in March-April 2012 and involved approximately 1000 judges and prosecutors from all over the country and all levels of the judiciary system.
Such a research is conducted for the first time in Bulgaria. It is based on the methods of social-psychological dynamic profiling, diagnosis of the external influence effects (including reformistic efforts), structural analysis of group identities which outlines long-term processes and current dynamic condition of the professional communities and allows a prognosis for the future development of the processes.
The study results will be presented on 11th May 2012 (precisely one year after the Foundation was established) at a conference in the Conference Hall of the Supreme Court of Cassation in the Sofia Palace of Justice.
The study is conducted within the framework of the research project ‘Judiciary between Laws and Facts’ which the JDF has initiated since March 2012 and which aims to clarify the differences between the legally established and the practically enforced model of Judiciary in Bulgaria. It strives to outline the potential of the system to support an effective structural and functional development and is a contribution to the professional efforts of the Bulgarian judges and prosecutors for high-quality justice.
The project is conducted with no financial support and due to the confidence of the team in its usefulness for the rational debate over judiciary reform.
The JDF and the research team express their deep gratitude to the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria; the presidents of courts and prosecution offices which have joined the research and their administrative teams; the Association of the Prosecutors in Bulgaria; the Bulgarian Judges Association and separately towards all its territorial sections; as well as to numerous judges, prosecutors and officials in the Judiciary for their most active and devoted organizational assistance during the research.
We owe special thanks for their confidence and support to all Bulgarian judges and prosecutors who responded to our quest to join the study despite of their workload and the short deadlines. Their inclusiveness ensured high legitimacy and national representativeness of the study results.
The team expresses its gratitude also to the President of the Supreme Court of Cassation for the hospitality.
Petya Popova, coordinator
Vesselin Raykov, Ivo Emanuilov, Snezhana Todorova (technical processing of data)
Dessislava Myhailova (analytical processing of data and sociological analyses)
Petya Popova (psychological and interpretative analyses)
Iva Pushkarova, PhD (legal and interpretative analyses)
Stoyan Stavru, PhD, Ass.Prof. Vladimir Velinov, Georgy Kirilov (consultancy of interpretative analyses)
The Board of Trustees of the Justice Development Foundation approved an Organisational Charter at a meeting held on February 16th 2012 and accepted changes in the Foundation’s structure aimed to optimize its management.
The Board of Trustees also approved a Strategic plan for the development of the Foundation for the next three years and an Action plan for its implementation during 2012.
The Board of Trustees supported unanimously the proposition of the President Iva Pushkarova that presidential powers be delegated to the Board member who had been responsible for team and public relations management. Thus was the figure of the Co-President created. That person was authorised to execute independently all functions of the President. The responsibility was entrusted to Petya Popova.
The number of the trustees was rediced to seven and they were elected from among the experts who will be involved most actively in the implementation of the Action Plan for 2012.
On the 16th December 2011 the Conference Hall of the Supreme Court of Cassation in the Palace of Justice in Sofia housed a round-table discussion held jointly by the Justice Development Foundation and the Association of the Bulgarian Prosecutors under the title ’Criminal Law Protection of the Public Finances‘. The relevant occasion was the tendency Bulgaria to be criticised for being unsuccessful in prevention and fight against money laundering. The round-table aimed to initiate a professional debate on problems and obstacles which the criminal justice system encounters in applying the Criminal Code against crimes related to abuse of state and EU funds, criminal violations of the public procurement procedures, economic crime, white-collar crimes and other violations included within the broad notion of ‘economic crime’.
The discussion was attended by leading researchers of organised crime and EU integration policy in the criminal law sector, judges from the Constitutional court, prosecutors from all levels of the Sofia prosecution offices, judges from the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Sofia Appellate Court, investigators from the National Investigation Office, investigation journalists, representatives of research centers and associations dedicated to protection of human rights, among whom experts from the Union of the Bulgarian Jurists, Bulgarian Lawyers for Human Rights Foundation, Center for Liberal Strategies, Transparency International, National Union of Legal Consultants, Bulgarian Academy of Science, as well as representatives of the Embassy of Germany in Bulgaria. Special recognition should be allowed to the participation of members of the working group with the Ministry of Justice which is charged with the drafting of ne Criminal Code.
The round-table speakers presented summarized results from comparative legal research of normative gaps in the criminal codes in Europe in the area of economic crime, the impact of case law over the scope of the enforced criminal provisions, features of the mechanisms of criminal manipulation of public procurement procedures, basic issues of protection of the EU financial interests as well as practical challenges before the fight against some criminal acts against property rights and creditors.
Some of the leading conclusions outlined a lack of significant difference between the Bulgarian Criminal Code and the penal legislation in other EU Member States, also in the field of protection of EU funds.
The main contributions are available in Bulgarian here:
Normative Gaps in the Criminal Law Response against Financial Crime (Iva Pushkarova. PhD, expert in criminal-law issues of organised crime, JDF) – Presentation; Audiofile.
Normative Gaps Created by Limitative Case Law (Sava Petrov, prosecutor in the Supreme Prosecution Office of Cassation, Head of Sector ‘Criminal Science Research’, Association of Bulgarian Prosecutors) – Audiofile.
Problems of the Criminal Law Protection of the Public Procurement Procedures (Bozhidar Dzhambazov, Deputy City Prosecutor of Sofia) - Memo; Audiofile.
Hristo Hristev, PhD, from the JDF presented summarized conclusions from study he had accomplished in 2011 which had been focused on the protecion of the financial interests of EU and its first part had been published in Thesis Legal Periodical, No 1/2011. Radla Stoyanova raised a discussion on problematically formulated provisions of assumptive crimes and crimes against creditors.
A number of practical questions found their answers within an intensive and lively discussion amongst representatives of different legal professions and confirmed the leading conclusions which had been reached by the studies of the JDF experts.
The expert team of the JDF continues its studies on the issues of economic crime which are planned to conclude by the end of 2012.
The Foundation expresses its gratitude to the Supreme Court of Cassation for the hospitality!
On the 16th December 2011 the JDF organises a Round-Table discussion named ‘Criminal Law Protection of Public Finances’ in cooperation with the Association of the Bulgarian Prosecutors. It will take place in the Conference Hall of the Supreme Court of Cassation at the Sofia Palace of Justice.
The event aims to outline the challenges facing the criminal jurisprudence in its response against forms of economic crime. During the forum researches on the efects of the Criminal Code will be presented, especially focused on financial crime, crimes against branches of the economy, the functioning of the criminal legislation within the EU legal context. Special attention will be paid to:
- normative gaps in the criminal law which have been created as a result from failures of the legislator and restrictive court practice (Sava Petrov, guest-prosecutor in the Supreme Cassation Prosecution, Head of ‘Forensic Science Studies’ department, and Iva Pushkarova, PhD, a JDF criminal law expert);
- criminal law protection of the regimes under the Public Procurement Act (Bojudar Djambazov, Deputy Sofia-City Prosecutor);
- practical problems of Criminal-Code enforcement against conventional property crime related to criminality in the public sector and economy (Radka Stoyanova, a JDF expert in criminal law and procedure);
- criminal law protection of the financial interests in the EU (Hristo Hristev, PhD, a JDF expert on EU law).
The round-table is the third in a chain of initiatives of the Foundation which aim to encourage professional dialogue on crucial legal issues. It is conducted within the framework of the partnership with the professional association of the prosecutors.
With this event the Foundation initiates a large-scale research on the issues of criminal-law protection of the economic and public sectors within an ambition to establish modern criminal-law solution against organised economic crime.
The round table will be attended by representatives of the state prosecution, specialised in the investigation of financial and economic crime, Supreme court judges, representatives of financial institutions, the Executive and the National Assembly, academia and associations of legal professions.
The Justice Development Foundation expresses its gratitude to the Supreme Court of Cassation for the hospitality!
Download the event program here.
Contact person: Ivo Emanuilov